The 2013-14 class of Knight-Wallace Fellows at the University of Michigan was an impressive one. It included Jenny Baxter, head of production for BBC News, NPR Beijing correspondent Louisa Lim and New York Times staff writer Laura M. Holson. Also in the mix that school year was freelance writer Alex Stone.
Cleverly and stupidly, Stone decided during his time at Ann Arbor to try and join a campus fraterniy. In a piece this weekend in The New York Times titled “The 38-Year-Old Frat Boy,” he details an Alpha Delta Phi adventure that was one part Animal House and two parts ER:
The Emergency Medical Technician rooted through my pockets and took out my wallet as I lay there mewling. He removed my ID and read it out loud.
“You’re how old?” the [fraternity] president said. “What the hell?”
“Harvard, huh?” said the E.M.T. Then after a bit: “Not too smart.”
The next morning, I woke up in the hospital, bruised and bloody, with a nightmarish hangover. Every article of my clothing was covered in vomit, and I’d lost my shoes. At some point during the night, I’d seriously messed up my knee and could barely walk; the doctors later told me I had a torn anterior cruciate ligament. And my fraternity career had been cut short. Although the president and I remained friends afterward, he made it clear that I should avoid the house. “A lot of the guys were pretty weirded out,” he said.
Stone, author of the book Fooling Houdini, had better luck with the Acacia fraternity. He returned to campus last fall for a Knight-Wallace Fellows reunion event and did magic tricks, but this NYT article may be his most impressive trick of all.
[Photo via: umichadphi.org]